Pages

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sina Weibo Censorship Fail: Zhu Ruifeng Questioned by Chongqing Police

On January 28, 2013, the state-sponsored Chongqing News web site published an article entitled "Journalist Interviews Investigator Responsible for Xiao Ye Extortion Case" (肖烨敲诈勒索犯罪团伙专案组负责人答记者问). Some excerpts:
On the evening of January 27, Zhu Ruifeng published a Weibo saying that the police had come to his house to find him, "I'm certain its the Chongqing police," garnering the attention of Internet users. This reporter interviewed the investigator responsible for the Xiao Ye extortion ring case.
. . . .
Question: Why were you looking for Zhu Ruifeng?
Answer: In the course of investigating the case of Xiao Ye extortion ring's use of salacious inducements, secretly making vulgar video recordings, and committing extortion, investigators discovered that the vulgar video of Lei Zhengfu that Zhu Ruifeng had exposed had been provided by the criminal ring's member Xu Sheqing (already arrested). Based on information provide by Xu Sheqing, because of internal discord with Xiao Ye, in early November 2012, in order to exact revenge, he came to Beijing with a neighbor of Zhu Ruifeng's surnamed Wang, and provided vulgar video that was used for extortion to Zhu Ruifeng. In order to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the Xiao ye extortion criminal ring, and coordinate with the needs of anti-corruption work, the investigation team, in cooperation with Beijing police, sought out Zhu Ruifang in order to verify the circumstances and obtain related evidence.
朱瑞峰发布微博称,有警察去家里找他,“肯定是重庆警方的”,引发网民关注。记者为此采访了侦办肖烨敲诈勒索犯罪团伙专案组负责人。
. . . .
问:为什么找朱瑞峰?
答:专案组在侦办肖烨犯罪团伙利用色情勾引、密拍不雅视频、实施敲诈勒索一案过程中,发现朱瑞峰曝光的雷政富不雅视频系该犯罪团伙成员许社卿(已逮捕)向其提供。据许社卿交待,因与肖烨分赃不均发生内讧,为达到报复肖的目的,许于2012年11月初,与朱瑞峰熟识的老乡王某一道赶到北京,将实施敲诈勒索的不雅视频当面提供给朱瑞峰。为彻底查清肖烨犯罪团伙敲诈勒索的案情,配合反腐败工作的需要,专案组在北京警方的协助下,依法找朱瑞峰核实了解相关情况并提取相关证据。
This screenshot, taken on January 28, shows that a search for "Zhu Ruifeng" on Sina Weibo returned no results, just a censorship notice.

However, when Sina censors searches like this its standard practice is to include recent popular posts that are unrelated to the search terms in question, often from popular Weibo users such as Kai-fu Lee (who has over 27 million followers).  In this case this policy seems to have backfired, as the arrow in the screenshot above indicates that Lee's most recent post was in fact about Zhu Ruifeng. It read:
Zhu Ruifeng, the first person to expose the Chongqing "Lei Zhengfu Video," used his Weibo and private messaging to say: yesterday evening Chongqing police came knock at his home, and wanted to take him away. After negotiations, he agreed to go to meet them at the Desheng Police Station at 9:00 am. The attached image is his Announcement and Entrustment. Zhu Ruifeng's verified Weibo has already been silenced, I hope Internet users will support and repost.
重庆“雷政富视频”第一爆料人 @朱瑞峰V,通过微博和私信表示:昨晚重庆警察到他的住所敲门,想要把他带走。经过协商,同意今早9点半在德胜门派出所见面。 附图是他的声明和委托。@朱瑞峰V 微博已经被禁言,希望网友支持+转发。
Here is the text from the image attached to Lee's Weibo post.
朱瑞峰声明和委托 
我现委托北京外国语大学教授展江老师作为与我家属的联系人;委托中国著名调查记者王克勤老师为我的新闻发言人,委托北京大学法学院教授贺卫方老师为我的法律顾问团筹备人。
我现委托浦志强律师、周泽律师、李和平律师、张凯律师、滕彪老师、王鹏律师等人作为我的代理人,授权委托书多份我已经签字,具体由贺卫方教授、展江教授和王克勤老师与各位律师和代理人商议。
如果我被重庆市警察抓捕失去人身自由,我将行使缄默权零口供来抗议重庆市警方的非法行为,如果有询问笔录和签名,那一定是在重庆市警察刑讯逼供情况下做的。我失去人身自由后,任何单位和个人及我的家属所作出更换律师或官方指定律师的决定无效,我本人就是写血书要求换律师也是无效的,也更不可能拒绝请律师的情况出现。
声明、委托人:朱瑞峰
2013年1月28日
This is not the first time we have seen this kind of "fail" - we saw something similar during the Southern Weekend New Year's Greeting controversy earlier this month: http://blog.feichangdao.com/2013/01/sina-weibo-features-southern-people.html.